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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this? Why should we the public / community care about this? 

  • How we upgrade our public safety buildings will impact the performance of our fire and police services for decades. These decisions will impact the safety of people and property. It is also a significant cost that the community will bear for decades. 


What do the upgrades entail? What are some of the solutions under consideration? 

  • Making structural, utilities, and accessibility improvements to the Central Fire Station on Main St. 

  • Renovating and adding a 2-story addition to Engine 2 on Tremont St. 

  • Demolishing and building a new fire station on Tremont St.

  • Renovating and adding a second floor to Engine 3 on East Foster St. 

  • Building a new police station and dispatch center on a new property

  • Converting a larger existing building into a new police station 

  • Different combinations of the above. 


What are some of the critical requirements and considerations? 

  • The number of stations and their locations must provide adequate response times throughout Melrose.

  • The buildings should be clean and safe. This means:

    • Structural improvements / safety / habitability

    • No leaks, mold, or rodent infestations

    • Vehicle bays are large enough and floors are strong enough to house modern equipment. 

  • The buildings have adequate space to meet functional requirements: 

    • Training spaces, decontamination spaces, community meeting spaces

    • Large enough bays to accommodate modern fire-fighting engines 

    • Adequate room to maintain and service equipment. 

  • Overall cost, including phasing of the project, should minimize transition and sunk costs.

  • The buildings should incorporate sustainability and energy efficiency.

  • The building upgrades should meet code and the Police Station must be handicap accessible

  • The police station’s functional space should adhere to laws governing due process and police procedure, as well as best practices:

    • Separate locker rooms for men and women

    • Separate cells for males, females, and juveniles, and meeting best practices for housing and monitoring those in custody. 

    • Secure space for processing, separating, and storing evidence (drugs, firearms, valuables) 

    • Areas for booking, processing, questioning 

    • Interview rooms and a family room space to support victims of domestic abuse


When will this be decided? Who will decide it?

  • The committee will make its recommendation to the Mayor’s office by middle of 2023, with projected costs and schedule. 

  • A project of this scope and cost will likely be put to a ballot initiative in 2023. 


How much will it cost and who will pay for it? 

  • The final cost is based on the scope of the solution, construction costs, and land costs. It will require 3-5 years of phased construction to complete. We will present costs after we have an estimate from our architects. 

  • Like other large capital projects (school improvements), the city will seek a long term (30-year) loan. Taxpayers will pay for this public safety building upgrade as part of their property tax bill over the 30 year loan term. 


What is the next step?

  • Our committee has engaged Dore and Whittier, the architecture and engineering firm who did our 2017 study, and has completed a number of public safety building projects for municipalities in New England. 

  • With these cost estimates, our committee will build these into two solutions and present these to the Mayor, City Council, and Public for review in early 2023.


How do I get involved and provide feedback?

  • In the coming months, we will host sessions to present the project and solutions to the community and hear your feedback.

  • Our goal is to ensure that Melrose citizens have the right information to make this decision which will impact our community for decades into the future. 

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